Virgil's 'Aeneid' - CLAS7620

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


Virgil composed the Aeneid in order to provide Rome with an epic equal to Homer. Commonly regarded as one the greatest epics of the ancient world, the Aeneid is the story of the foundation of Rome; a tale of exile, war, passionate love and the deepest humanity. We will analyse, comment on and explore the epic, book by book. This will be intertwined with a thematic approach, investigating issues concerning the gods, fate, morality, art and gender.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Total Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
• Essay (2500 words) – 60%
• Critical assessment (1500 words) – 40%

Reassessment methods:
• 100% Coursework (1,500 words)

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually):

Cairns, F. (1990). Virgil's Augustan Epic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Camps, W.A. (1969). Introduction to Virgil's Aeneid. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harrison, S. (ed.). (1990). Oxford Readings in Vergil's Aeneid. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Johnson, W.R. (1976). Darkness Visible: A Study of Vergil's Aeneid. Berkeley: University of California.
Virgil. (2003). The Aeneid, tr. D. West. London: Penguin.
Zanker, P. (1988). The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Articulate responses to key questions about the nature and value of ancient epic;
2 Demonstrate critical understanding the importance and implications of ancient epic within its historical context;
3 Demonstrate critical, specific and in-depth analyses of the variety of voices and themes contained within the epic;
4 Engage reflectively with other people's analyses and interpretations of primary and secondary sources.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate skills in critical analysis and argument both through their reading and through listening to others;
2 Demonstrate their ability to make complex ideas clearly understandable in their writing;
3 Demonstrate the ability to work autonomously and to take responsibility for their learning.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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